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Recovery Service

Elder Abuse Recovery Service (EARS)

Our Recovery Service is an innovative means of supporting older people to recover from harmful experiences, and develop the skills and confidence to regain independence and stay safe in the future. The service is provided by trained local volunteers, who support older people in their own home or in a neutral environment of their choosing. At the outset, the older person considers what they would like to get out of the service, and with the support of their volunteer, will identify a series of individual goals to work towards.

While the service includes an element of befriending, it goes much further by focussing on recovery, building resilience, and enabling older people to regain their confidence and independence, and re-integrate into their local community.  Empowerment is at the heart of the project, and our volunteers work with the older person to support and encourage them to make decisions and take actions themselves.

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EARS is changing!

Following our rebrand from Action on Elder Abuse to Hourglass in March this year, we are continuing our vital work in supporting older people affected by abuse and exploitation, but now also working towards a wider focus on safer ageing and a fairer society for all older people. Along with many other organisations, we’re also responding to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic by changing the way we support older people and those concerned about them. We believe the time is therefore right to bring many of our services together into a new community-focused service, and we’re delighted to announce the lunch of our new Community Hub model at the end of the year. This means our Elder Abuse Recovery Service (EARS) will be incorporated into the new Community Hubs in both Sussex and Scotland.

With a broader focus on ‘safer ageing’, our Community Hubs will create an end-to-end model from prevention and early intervention, right through to recovery and moving on from abuse. We’ll therefore continue to support older people with their recovery from abuse, but this will be part of a much broader support model to allow us to support as many older people (and those concerned about them) as possible. Support within the Community Hub will include:

  • One-to-one and peer group support in the community from volunteers (as we currently do with the EARS service)

  • Our UK-wide Helpline to provide information, advice and support around elder abuse and safer ageing

  • Events, seminars and support groups in local communities

  • Pop-up advice clinics

  • Casework and advocacy for those concerned about abuse

  • Support and advice from specialist organisations

  • An online knowledge bank and instant messenger service on our website to provide information and advice for anyone concerned about the abuse of older people

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Our long-term plan is to set up physical hubs in Sussex and Fife (Scotland), however we will be able to offer many of these services via a virtual Community Hub until we can secure a base for the Hubs.

We’re still working on putting in place many of these services, but hope to be up and running by October. We can still accept referrals to EARS in the meantime, so please do get in touch if you or an older person would benefit from our support. We’d also love to hear from partner agencies who’d like to work with us in this exciting new venture!


How we’re already helping:

Find out more about some of the older people we are already helping on our recovery service stories page.


How can I get support?

We currently have services in Sussex and Fife, and will shortly be delivering a new service in the North of England.


If you’d like to find out about the project in Sussex, you can:

    visit our Sussex page


Or contact:

Gail Shanahan

Project Coordinator:

Tel. 0750 882 3975



If you’d like to find out about the project in Fife, you can:

    visit our Fife page


Or contact:

Colin Scott

Project Coordinator (Scotland):

Tel.  0749 632 3801